In May 2021, a video supposedly showing Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz swallowing a fly during an appearance on Fox News went viral on social media:
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) May 27, 2021
This is not a genuine video of the Texas politician eating a fly. This video was digitally edited to make it look as if there was a fly on Cruz’s face (and then in his mouth). In the original video, you’ll see no fly.
This clip comes from an appearance on the Fox News show “Hannity” on June 27, 2019, when the senator had to take a sip of water to clear his throat. While we don’t know why Cruz’s voice was hoarse at this moment, it wasn’t because he ate a fly. The original clip can be seen at around the 25-second mark of the following video:
For one reason or another, the internet loves it when a fly lands on a politician. After a vice presidential debate in 2020, one of the most discussed topics was the fly that landed on the head of Mike Pence for nearly two minutes. The common house fly has managed to steal the political spotlight a few other times, as they have bothered President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Donald Trump.
The “fly-on-a-politician’s-head” trope is so popular that some netizens have even taken to doctoring images and videos. In addition to the video above that supposedly showed Cruz eating a fly, a fake photo of a fly on the shoulder of Supreme Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett was circulated during her confirmation hearing.